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4 Mar 2009

Scared of SCADA?

Our latest product is a brand new security awareness module on SCADA, ICS, DCS and related acronyms - essentially industrial process control systems. I suspect few employees outside of IT will have heard of SCADA and hardly any will have considered the security requirements associated with keeping the lights on, both literally (SCADA systems are heavily used by the electricity generators and grid) and figuratively (modern factories are packed with all manner of computerized industrial machinery). For those who work not in manufacturing industry but in ordinary offices, we point out that elevators and other facilities are typically managed by a Building Management System, itself a form of SCADA. For those who don't even work in an office, the Engine Management System in their car is another example.

In addition to the potential for unplanned production outages and disruption to critical infrastructures, the health and safety plus environmental protection aspects make SCADA security impacts potentially horrific. Simply being obscure is no defence against some hackers and, potentially, their terrorist masters. Governments and managers at major utilities are worried about SCADA security risks, so all in all this is an important awareness topic.

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